Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Name

Ramekin

Variant

Ramequin, Ramekin dish.

Pronounced

(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin

Function

English Noun

Plural

Ramekins

Hypernym

A type of dish

Purpose

Cooking

Etymology

French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


Meaning

1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Creigiau


Designer        
Reg Sutcliffe
Maker
Creigiau Pottery
Marks
Stamped “Creigiau Wales” in blue ink to underside of bowl and plate
Material
Stoneware
Description
Hand-made glazed and incised stoneware bowl and saucer with grey glaze to entire surface; lightly applied brown overglaze on exterior.  Wedge handle attached to upper third of bowl, angled upward with end excised with lines.  Glazed dimpled foot ring.
Condition
Very good.  One bowl cracked through
Number
No number
Production Date
Late 1970s
Width at rim
112mm
Width at Base
63mm
Depth
60mm
Length (with handle)
167mm
Weight
235gm
Volume
375ml
Acquisition
Purchase
E-Bay
18 August 2014.
Rameking Reference Number
CRE 001-016


Reginald George Southcliffe was an accountant who was born in June 1912 in Newport, Monmouthshire in Wales, UK.  In his early years, his interest in chemistry led to an interest in glazing ceramics.  He began experimenting with glazes on pottery that he made at his home.  This led to him becoming a full-time potter.   With an accountants fastidiousness, he looked long and hard for the right location for his pottery.  In 1947, he found it in the Creigiau region on Efail Esaf Road and bought land at the former Hendresguthan Fach Farm.  The area had been recorded as “potters land” as early as 1420.   It is just past the “Ceasars Arms” hotel, once the largest employer in the area.


Creigiau is a commuter area of around 1000 houses and 2,500 people to the north-west of Cardiff, the capital of Wales.  Creigiau’s claim to fame was its quarry.  The dolomite pit opened in the 1870s to supply stone to build Cardiff docks.  Later, the limestone and magnesium dolomite was used in the steel making process.    

Reg and his wife Jean began the Southcliffe Ceramic Company at Creigiau.  (The next year the name was changed to “Creigiau Pottery.”  They experienced problems early on with cuts to electricity, lack of coal and poor quality coal.  A purchase tax was also imposed on their goods, creating further problems to the fledgling business.  Their pottery mark was at different times incised, impressed or printed.  They produced domestic table and decorative wares in earthenware with incised decoration and a greyish glaze partially covering the brown body and throwing the design into relief. 


Reg later took over the Claypits Pottery at Ewenny after potters Thomas A, and D Jenkins retired.  Reg re-named it the “Vale Pottery.”  Helyg had been founded in 1820 by Evan Jenkins. It was later taken over by new owners and re-named the “Helyg Pottery.”  Helyg continues in Ilkley, North Yorkshire.


Practice makes perfect they say, and so it was with Reg.  His specialty became a revival of Welsh copper lusterware.  There had been a tradition in Wales of making Copper Lustre ware going back over 200 years.  This skill had sadly died out in the late 19th Century but Reg worked hard to re-learn the skills.  Creigiau became well-known for reproduction antique jugs and coffee sets in lustre.  They exported this ware throughout the world until the late 1970s when they were forced to close.  The craft shop at the pottery was well frequented by tourists until then. 


Reg died in June, 1981 and Jean continued to hand-make pots for another two years before she retired in 1983.  Jean Howden Southcliffe died in 2000 in Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Wales.

  

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